War talk has moved from the speculative to the possible. And it appears that we are subject to the actions of human governments. While the governing authorities and leaders are important, we must not lose sight of the real center of power.
The Apostle Paul instructs that we pray for governing authorities in this way: “…of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way…” (I Tim. 2:1-2).
Why would Paul want to pray for intercession for the Caesar’s and their followers? At least one reason is that government leaders are not placed in power by their own will. (Romans 13:1) But these leaders serve at God’s pleasure, whether they recognize this truth or not. Leaders who are dominated by pride, as the Caesars were, are leaders who govern at their own peril.
Paul is urging Christians to remember who is really in charge, even if governing authorities appear to be able to do whatever they chose. Paul is saying to stay focused. God is in charge. Paul is praying that our leaders would embrace the wisdom of Nebuchadnezzar. Why? Because when faced with crisis, the king had biblical clarity.
…At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble. (Daniel 4:34-37)
God is able to make those who walk in pride to walk in humility! Surely, this is needed now whether the setting is North Korea, Iran, Russia or the halls of Washington, D.C.
These words have been instructive to the people of God throughout history. Our leaders serve at the pleasure of God. These words in Daniel & Timothy should bring great comfort to you in troubling times. Things are not out of control. God’s power is not diminished. He is the same God who humbled Nebuchadnezzar and spoke the Universe into existence. We should continue to pray as Paul directs in I Timothy. Paul’s confidence came from his knowledge that he was speaking directly to the one Who is really in charge. You can have this same confidence.